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These hat hooks with the long horn bull are popular amongst station people. (Ranchers in the U.S.) The bull looks over the brim of the hat.

Started with 10mm square bar. The hook has a good curl on the end to avoid sharp points -  Mr Cattlemen wouldn't like holes in his town akubra. ;)

 

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You do such nice long horns Aus. A living example of what practice will earn you. 

I'd call those coat hooks, a hat hook would have a wide curved fish tail finial on the hook to support a wider section of the band. 

I need a couple hat hooks Maybe I'll take a shot at a moose head. Oh great I just had a wonky visual, moose head on top fish tail finial on the bottom. Would that be a Mermoose? Gonna have to come up with a different twist or texture on the body though.  Hmmmm, maybe I won't work on that belt grinder today, a little forge time would be a nice change.

Frosty The Lucky.

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14 hours ago, Frosty said:

You do such nice long horns Aus. A living example of what practice will earn you. 

I'd call those coat hooks, a hat hook would have a wide curved fish tail finial on the hook to support a wider section of the band. 

I need a couple hat hooks Maybe I'll take a shot at a moose head. Oh great I just had a wonky visual, moose head on top fish tail finial on the bottom. Would that be a Mermoose? Gonna have to come up with a different twist or texture on the body though.  Hmmmm, maybe I won't work on that belt grinder today, a little forge time would be a nice change.

Frosty The Lucky.

Yes, I think the next ones will have the wider finial. I hope you do have a go at a moose head Frosty. How about we set ourselves a challenge? You do a moose head and I'll have a go at a kangaroo head!

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I don't know about a challenge, I'd be a tyro making critter heads but what the hey, I'll give MerMoose hat hook a go. 

Looks like John in Oly accepted the challenge with a moose tongue entry. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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11 hours ago, WayneCoeArtistBlacksmith said:

Ausfire, I didn't know that you had Texas Longhorn steers down under.

We sure do. Like Marc said, they are not common, but this Texas Longhorn place is just a four hour drive south of me at Charters Towers. Very popular with tourists:

http://www.texaslonghorn.com.au/

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  • 1 month later...

ausfire

I am a big fan of your work. I am very new at this, so I have not acquired the skills for it. I WILL learn how and I have often wondered about making goat horns instead of ram horns. Also, I wonder if you could do a beard on a goat or ram or whatever critter you choose that has one? Looking at your Longhorns and your moose lets me know it is possible to do whatever your imagination can think of. Thank you for the inspiration. On a side note, I guess you take it for granted when you see something a lot. I am in Texas in the country and you can't drive very far without seeing longhorn cattle. In fact, the pasture behind ours has a mixed herd and there are three or four Longhorns that I see everyday. Beautiful creatures. If you want to see another breed of cattle with big horns, look up images of a Watusi. I don't know how they even hold their heads up! There are couple that live right down the road from us.

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Hi CrazyGoatLady. Thank you for your kind comments. I do like forging animal heads and they make interesting demo pieces. The ram heads make really good bottle openers, as they fit in the hand nicely. Long horn bulls are good for lifting for obvious reasons.

Perhaps you could post a picture of a goat with horns as you would like to forge them, and I will happily have a try. I did make a beard on a ram once, as in the picture below, but it was a bit trickier than I thought and didn't work out too well. I think it gave him the look of a lion.

When doing ram heads I often think they look very much like African antelopes when the horns are pinned back before curling them forward. Antelopes, gazelles, etc would be pretty easy to do I think. I'm working on an idea to forge a better moose head at present. Water buffalo are popular with our Northern Territory tourists. One day I will attempt an elephant head ... now that would be a challenge.

I hope you have success in acquiring the skills. Keep your early tries to look back on and practise, practise, practise!!

 

 

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Thank you for your response! An elephant head would be spectacular. I can only hope to attain a small portion of your talent. I am posting some pictures of my buck. If you need better ones, I can get more. I don't have any help at the moment to hold his head! Older bucks will have longer, curvier ones but hopefully this will give you a good idea.

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Alan Kress makes an elephant head using angle iron.  There is a video on YouTube where a member here forged an elephant head on the head of a RR spike.  I have forged a long horn steer on the head of a RR spike (Steak Knife) and won the best RR spike knife at the Batson Blade Symposium, the next year I won with an eagle which I called "The American Eagle, and the next year with folder with a Damascus blade and the head forged into a leaf.  I have also done dogs, a Mule head (Jack Knife), a Dragon head, etc.  I have plans to do a Moose and Elephant.

Wayne

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WayneCoe

I went to your website. Beautiful work, sir. I am just starting out and I can only hope to be anywhere near the level of so many folks on this forum. We don't have anyone in this area to learn from. Most of what we(my husband and I) have learned has come from pouring through the massive information from talented folks like yourself. We have been working on the basics like fire management ( charcoal forge) and hammer control.

I am trying to refrain from asking questions but I do have one if y'all don't mind? What would be the best steel to try to start out on when I feel ready to try animal heads? I am sure there are things I need to learn in between. I know you need to learn to crawl before you walk. Even with all the head knowledge I have gained here, it is still hard to know what steps to take next. Any help would be greatly appreciated and thank you for your time.

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6 hours ago, CrazyGoatLady said:

I am trying to refrain from asking questions but I do have one if y'all don't mind? What would be the best steel to try to start out on when I feel ready to try animal heads?

I would suggest you go to your local steel supplier and buy a couple of sticks of 3/8. 1/2 (most useful) and maybe 5/8  MILD steel. It's a known quality and is much more forgiving than recycled stuff of unknown composition. Best to avoid tool steel, rebar and wrought iron until you have honed your skills with mild.

Nice looking buck you have there. His horns appear to be more ribbon like than a ram's horns. Wouldn't be too hard to forge. I have yet to find a way of including ears without adding extra metal. I like to do these from the one piece.

I'll give it a go and let you know what happens.

P.S. Hope you (and your menagerie) are coping well with the severe weather Texas is experiencing right now. TV pics are horrendous. I guess you are well inland where you are. All the best.

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Thank you for the compliments on my boy and thank you for the suggestions for steel. Glen suggested I get some modeling clay and practice on that beforehand. I will do that and then hopefully be able to quickly learn and go to work on the steel you recommend! I want to take my time and learn to do things right though. Everybody wants to go from 0 to 60 and make knives and complicated things right off the bat, and I confess I had the same idea until we found IFI. I love it here and all the helpful and supportive people of this community help me to know that there are still good people in the world. Yes, I suppose they do resemble a ribbon. I never thought of it that way. They grow straight out from their heads and then begin to curve down then outward if that makes sense. 

Thank you. We are fine here. We are only about 30 miles from the Oklahoma border so we are well away from the devastation that is taking place. Now it is sending torrential rain into Louisiana as well. My heart is heavy for all those people. They are saying it is some of the worst flooding in American history. I hope and pray it will end soon

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Yes modeling clay is a wonderfully thing. I just found some I had forgotten about in my room, and because during the storm I couldn't really do much outside, I have been messing around with the model ling clay figuring out some new ideas. I now have an idea on how to forge a fish from 1/2" square, we will see. But yes, modeling clay I do recomend. I've used clay from a nearby river, it's just messier. 

                                                                                                   Littleblacksmith 

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Crazy, as for learning steel, 1/4" round is good for J hooks, hearts and other small items.  1/2" round or square is good for leaves and animal heads,  5'8" and 3/4" and 1" are good for larger heads, etc.  Those pretty well cover it for hand hammered objects.  Common steel yard steel is A46 or mild steel.  Don't think that you have to go to a steel yard and buy new steel.  Found steel, steel from a scrap yard or a salvage yard is more likely than not A36.  Even if it is not you can probably still forge it, it may just be a little bit harder to forge. The main thing is to get some metal, get it hot and hit it.

My mentor would ask, "When should you start over or try to fix it?"

 Well, if you are working on a 10 step item and you mess it up on the first step, throw it in the scrap pile and start over.

When you start over you will do the first step better.  If you mess up on the second step, throw it in the scrap pile and start over again.

Now you will do better on the first step and better on the second step.  When you get to the third step,,,etc,,,etc.

When you get to the 8th step,,,,maybe you want to try to fix it.

"Build a scrap pile and you will become a better smith."

Wayne

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Thank you for the great advice! I appreciate you taking time to help me out. That actually helps a lot in deciding what to use and we love scrap yards! We started out a little too ambitious and got stuff we were advised was probably a little much for beginners. We bought a few pieces of stuff from a steel yard that was much easier. Hopefully we can make a trip to the scrap yard this week and have a better eye on what to look for. Thanks again:)

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If y'all make it around here I will be sure to show y'all the scrap yard here if you'd like, it also sells new steel. I also like 3/8" square for leaves, I recommend starting out with that over 1/2", it is a little less suborn but you still get the steps down and it still looks about the same, just smaller. For most stuff, I recommend using square stock when you can use it. Of course some projects you have to use round, but when you can use square. for most stuff it looks better (in my opinion), and also it is easier to keep things "square" and all on the same plain. like for S hooks, square is easier to keep all in line. I hope I'm making sense, I'm not a very good person with words, I'm sure though if it doesn't you can probably get Frosty to explain it to you:). he could explain rocket science and make it sound like 2nd grade math.

                                                                                                                       Littleblacksmith 

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Yes Frosty is good at explaining stuff. There are a few scrapyards around here but they are kind of iffy in what they have. I have read about people having a hard time finding RR spikes and such. In a town about 15 miles from us there are two scrapyards directly across the street from each other located right on a railroad crossing. The train station is about a block or two down. They have tons of spikes, track, and track plates. Problem is, they don't seem to have a whole lot of other usable stuff. We used to buy our brass for reloading there, but it seems like they don't have much except 9mm. Use to you could find a large range of calibres. If we can ever make it there, we will take you up on scrapyard treasure hunt!

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